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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Capital Construction Fund

Operators of American-flag vessels are faced with a competitive disadvantage in the construction and replacement of their vessels relative to foreign-flag operators whose vessels are registered in countries that do not tax shipping income. The Capital Construction Fund (CCF) program was created to counterbalance this situation by helping owners and operators of United States-flag vessels secure the capital necessary to modernize and expand the U.S. merchant marine. The program encourages construction, reconstruction, or acquisition of vessels through the deferment of Federal income taxes on certain deposits of money or other property placed into a CCF. Participants must meet U.S. citizenship requirements.

See the latest list of fundholders.

Apply here.


Vessels built with any amount of CCF funding must be built in the United States and documented under the laws of the United States for operation in the nation’s foreign, Great Lakes, short-sea Shipping or noncontiguous domestic trade or its fisheries. CCF vessels constructed, reconstructed, or acquired under the CCF program span a wide spectrum, including large containerships, Roll-On/Roll-Off vanships, barge-carrying vessels, and other general cargo vessels; crude oil and petroleum product tankers, sophisticated liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers; self-unloading Great Lakes bulk carriers; tugs, barges, supply vessels, and ferry and passenger vessels.

Who Benefits?

Companies utilizing the benefits of the CCF program represent a broad cross section of the U.S. maritime industry. Operators range in size, from large consolidated companies to partnerships and sole proprietors, but all have one thing in common -- understanding that the CCF program can lower the cost of replacing or adding new vessels, significantly accelerate the time frame for accumulating capital for such purposes, and be used to pay down existing vessel debt (as long as the vessel is part of an overall building program). OPerator types include, for example:

  • Liner companies that operate containerships and other specialized vessels from the West Coast of the United States to points in the Far East and Hawaii and from Gulf and East Coast ports to Europe, South America, and Africa;
  • Tanker operators delivering crude oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the U.S. mainland;
  • Bulk vessel operators moving ore, and operators providing ferry and passenger service on the Great Lakes;
  • Companies specialized in offshore towing and supply operations that serve oil drilling and production rigs off U.S. coasts and in foreign waters;
  • Operators serving Caribbean and Central American ports;
  • Tug and barge operators providing service between Pacific Coast ports and points in Alaska, on the river system in Alaska, and in the Gulf of Alaska;
  • Cruise vessels and tug-barge operators providing inter-island service in the Hawaiian Islands; and
  • Operators moving containers and Roll-on/Roll-off cargo in short-sea Shipping trades

Administrative Responsibility

The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are responsible for administering the CCF program, with MARAD handing commercial vessels, and NOAA handling those in the fishing industry.

Capital Construction Fund Regulations (part 1)
Capital Construction Fund Regulations (part 2)

Other Contacts

Parties interested in the program as it relates to fishing vessels should contact:

CCF Program, Financial Services Division (F/MB5)
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 713-2393
or the NOAA Website
Last updated: Thursday, July 15, 2021